Young chefs crawl before they run

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by Cdp, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Cdp

    Cdp

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    18 years Chef recent promo to Sous
    Not sure if those have noticed but in Australia we are seriously low on chefs big time and the young ones who do stay are generally not that good most apprentices are dropping out at 60% as a course can be fast tracked in 2 years
    This currently is forcing the quality of chefs dropping and pushing those who are not ready into positions which we know take years of experience not only on cooking and paperwork side but the general leading of the team and dealing with conflict and not telling people to fuckoff because it is convenient....
    Example I have a good Demi (when he wants to be )but he's far from sous chef roles like 2 3 years out.
    So question is why are so many chefs leaving the industry is it money vs hours .?are the tv shows play a factor ? what is it even the whole I can earn more stacking shelves and have a life....

    Share the thoughts
     
  2. cronker

    cronker

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    I'm in Australia also, so I believe I will be able to comment effectively.
    The biggest problem we face here is the apprentice wage- very low for such a demanding job. In the big hotel chains, an apprentice will spend perhaps their first year peeling vegetables, making banquet sandwiches and getting shit from everyone else. Very, very few head or especially executive chefs will take the time and care needed to advance a young chef. An apprentice chef really needs to stand out before the boss takes notice.
    In smaller establishments, an apprentice is generally viewed as a cost cutting measure and is expected to perform at a level beyond their training.
    When a young person watches all the exciting television cooking shows, they may think that the business is for them - after all, they make a killer risotto, right? The reality is crushing and truth be told, they can make the same money at Maccas.
     
  3. chefross

    chefross

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    I don't mean to laugh but here in America if people had to go through the apprentice program like in Europe or Australia, it would probably be the same thing. "What? Me work for a living?"
    "Peeling vegetables for a year is NOT my way of learning to cook."
    (please insert any snarky comment here...........)
    Cooking correctly takes concentration. Repetitive work each and every day makes the Chef/cook.

    So to answer your question in another thread Cronker, in America there are no standards to be a Chef or cook.
    One does not have to go to school to learn how to cook.
    Also, we have a shortage of Chefs here in America as well. People are graduating from culinary schools but are useless to a kitchen because they have no experience. Apprenticeships give that experience....consider yourself fortunate.
     
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  4. iceman

    iceman

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    I've worked with DREAMers who have fallen over each other to get a chance to peel vegetables. IT'S WORK. You get paid to work. Get a freakin' work ethic for criminey sake. Those same guys that were peeling the vegetables are the first guys at the door learning how to prep. Those same guys are the ones hanging late asking me to show them how to cook stuff. Funny thing ... I've never ever had a 20-something white guy ask to be taught anything. I've also never had to fire a DREAMer.




    "We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
     
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  5. CA714

    CA714

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    Hai
    I can only comment in the United States, but I certainly feel that the wave of aspiring culinary professionals are dropping because of pay. With the current economy, it is easy to realize that even experienced chef's are barely living above poverty. Take for example, the many excellent talents in Los Angeles. They're pumping out excellent and trendy foods; yet, executive chef's are only paid an average of $60,000 salary. Keep in mind, the average income for middle-class families in Los Angeles is about $97,000. The numbers aren't appealing, and I suppose that's why people are disinterested in the culinary profession.

    as far as having decent cooks, I feel that is a separate category from the depreciation of the culinary profession. In my opinion, having a decent employee depends on criteria like: Is the restaurant business objective interesting? How can I gain my employee's trust? How will I mentor my staff in a respectful/professional way? Also offering some type of reward system (days off, pay, more responsibilities). Running a kitchen is tough, and I believe having the most effective staff is through good communication.
     
  6. frankie007

    frankie007

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    professional chef over 20 years
    I work in London and there is lot of jobs available here, many more then there are chefs so for once it's chefs market so to say. The wages have gone up but the talent on offer though is not great, all my friends that are senior chefs are telling me they have a great difficulty recruiting....Another thing that is different from when I was junior chef is that old kitchen hierarchy is all but disappeared. Back in the day if you were CDP you had to know how to run a section, usually garde mangere and have a relatively broad knowledge of cooking and organisation. Hollandaise, mayonnaise, pates, terrines, different dressings etc, you had to know all these It took me 9 years to climb up to head chef position admittedly without going to college from commis. Nowadays everyone is a line chef and grill chef, to be honest I don't even know what that means. Here prep and service chefs are not separate, everybody does everything on different shifts. I know I am in danger of sounding like an old fart so forgive me....Last time i was recruiting i had a lot of young chefs that were telling me how pay was low but on trials i found lot of them couldn't hack it, never mind making Hollandaise, most of them couldn't tell me how to make a salad dressing, ANY DRESSING! I think really good restaurants get the best talent and for the rest of us it is luck of the draw. Commitment is another thing that is much more rare than "passion" but I better not go there....
     
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  7. Jet1wa1

    Jet1wa1

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    Trade Butcher fledgling apprentice chef
    I think in Australia the TV shows definitely play apart because it doesn't show the grunt work and what it does show of it is sugarcoated to look easy.
    Pay is a big issue because this generation has expectations that they should be on bulk money for little work.
    In my experience restaurants that are recruiting for apprentices are also only interested in kids 15-17 so they can pay the lowest level allowed, in the past 2 months I've applied for 10 positions and have been overlooked by 8 and of those 8 6 have then been readvertised.
     
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    So an EC in Cali pulls down 60 K and the avg middle class home brings in 97 K.
    Are those figures dependent on ALL of the wage earners in the household?
    Statistics can be skewed in many ways in order to make a point.
    If the EC is the only person in the household does his income cover % wise the same living standard as the 2 income producing household at 97K?
    It takes less money to support one person vs two.
    Would like to see the study that was referenced.

    mimi
     
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  9. Cdp

    Cdp

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    18 years Chef recent promo to Sous
    ok i got one for you i just offered sous role ok,
    my sous chef left couldn't take the work load constant stuff ups,
    now great guy but not suited for the role,


    when are they going to learn tkae care of the staff and they stay loyal
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2017